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Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)

Key Info

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Beaches, Free, Recreation Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 1.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

About a 30-minute drive from the Garden of the Gods on the island's northern coast, Polihua Beach attracts visitors seeking a romantic setting for sunbathing or beachcombing. This remote 2-mile stretch of sand used to be the nesting ground of sea turtles. Now, sightings of these endangered creatures are infrequent. In fact, many recent travelers report being the only ones here  human or animal. But if you come between December and April, you'll likely spot migrating humpback whales from the shore.

Several recent travelers reported being the only visitors at the beach, attributing the lack of crowds to the difficult (and bumpy) drive that's required to reach the shoreline. However, even with the turbulent journey, many still recommended making a stop here after Garden of the Gods thanks to the serene atmosphere and incredible views and clear water. 

Note: Due to strong winds and currents, swimming is not safe here, and there are no restroom facilities available. Access is free 24/7, though visiting after sunset is discouraged.

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#1 Hulopoe Bay

Hulopoe Bay is one of Lanai's most popular spots. Sunbathers like the wide stretch of sand, while snorkelers revel in the vibrant reefs filled with fish and native plant life. This is one of the few beaches on Lanai where swimming is safe, but only in the summer; the waves in the winter are too dangerous. If you're in Lanai during the winter months, a stop at Hulopoe Bay is still worthwhile as you can sometimes spot dolphins and humpback whales from the shore (they pass through the bay every winter).

Recent travelers recommend that you uncover the sea stars and hermit crabs in the bay's eastern side tide pools, and that you picnic in the shady areas behind the beach. If you get antsy sunbathing, lace up your hiking shoes and take a 15- to 20-minute walk along the cliffs just southeast of the tide pools to catch a glimpse of Puu Pehe, or Sweetheart Rock. According to Hawaiian legend, a grief-stricken warrior jumped from this 80-foot rock after learning of his wife's passing. 

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